How to Send me Mail

Where to send the goods:

Cara S********, PCV
c/o U.S. Peace Corps
PO Box 582
Banjul, The Gambia
West Africa 

How to package the goods: 

  • 4 lbs. and less will cost MUCH LESS than anything above that.
  • Try the USPS international flat rate boxes - they get here relatively quickly.  Be sure to get the Military box - it's cheaper!
  • Padded MANILA envelopes will get here pretty fast too, and may be cheaper.
  • Put a false dollar amount on the claims slip that will be on the box – something LESS than $10, regardless of what's actually in the box.

When sending the following, remember:

  • Non-Food Items: Don’t send anything that looks nice or expensive – meaning, take things out of their plastic wrapping and put them in zip-loc baggies, remove special packaging and wrap things in newspaper etc.  Why?  Packages may/will be opened at customs.
  • Food Items: Put them in zip-loc baggies because rodents and insects will definitely be interested in them when they sit in The Gambia for a month!

Things to write on the box or packing slip:
1. "Allah sees everything” or "Dieu Voit Tout."  Many people are devout Muslims and more likely to respect the integrity of a package with religious references.
2. "Air Mail" on all envelopes

3. A fake tracking number (see photo)
4. Write things like “Educational Materials," "Used," or "Religious Materials"

 5. Use RED INK on parts that are NOT the address.  Apparently to African mail workers, red ink signifies important government documents and tampering could mean trouble.  
6. Send me an email to let me know that something is on the way and I'll let you know when it gets here.

Consider packaging things in
1. Local newspapers (Especially if they include comic strips, crossword puzzles, articles I might be interested in, recipes etc.)
2. Zip-lock bags (I'll reuse these for all sorts of things)
3. Plastic grocery bags


  1. We have been trying to call you for weeks but can't get through. We're doing okay. I sent a box. Did you get it? Tim had his Admissions to Candidacy to the priesthood this last wk. Unbelievable Mass. Then on Saturday the Minor Seminary played football against the Major Seminary. Fun to watch. Dad and I went to Chicago with the Fishers. We went out on the ledge. Very scarey! Hope to hear from you. Love mom

  2. Kristen
    You and your Gambian family and your family are in our prayers. I have been reading a bookmark that was made to be handed out to friends and family with your verse of Where you are, God has placed you, and so forth. May you find strength from this and from many other Bible verses and people. Take care Kristen. Your Friends, John & Leigh Sheahan

  3. Hi Cara! This is Gabrielle, I am leaving for PC staging in 11 days, soon to be in TG! I have been admiring your blog for the past few months and have been curious about a special feature you have. I was wondering how you were able to have a current clock of Gambian time on your blog? I wonder if it is for blogspot or if wordpress could do the same? It is way useful for people back home! I hope you are well, Gabrielle